Saturday, February 11, 2017

The ruination of Judge Gorsuch

When Senator McConnell announced the Republican conspiracy against Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution, my mind leapt forward to wonder what would happen if they got what they wanted: a Republican president. Would he be able to find a lawyer of high skills with so little self-respect, regard for the Constitution and concern for the independence and integrity of the judiciary that he would accept an appointment?

Yes.

What we don't know is whether there are any rightwing legists who have sufficient integrity to refuse to participate as beneficiaries of the Senate Republicans' corrupt bargain.

Probably not. I have not seen any commentary that even recognizes the problem.

When Trump introduced Gorsuch as his nominee, he spun out a long list of legal accomplishments. Whether he was accurate is, with Trump, always a question, but we need not inquire. It is certain that an equally impressive list could have been (and was) attached to the CV of Judge Garland.

Let us state the obvious, since it seems to be beyond the comprehension of rightwingers. Article 2 Section 2 does not read, "some future president shall, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint justices to the Supreme Court."

My business law professor used to begin each lecture by reminding us that we were treating the idea of being in business as a going concern.

The Constitution does not explicitly say that the government is a going concern, but  it has to be. In Gorsuch's acceptance statement, he went out of his way to say that he considers the United States Senate the greatest deliberative body in the world.  It would be interesting to hear his response to the question: How would you rate the deliberations on the appointment of Judge Garland?

 The willingness of Judge Gorsuch to participate in a corrupt bargain reminds us that it has not always been the case that all rightwing lawyers have been so pliant. Eliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus were not, although the darling of the rightwing jurists, Robert Bork, was.
water boy


Although it does not have anything to do with Gorsuch's personal unfitness for office, it is worth also noting what the executive thinks makes him deserving of a job as associate justice. When Vice President Pence was asked, he said -- three times in less than 90 seconds -- that Gorsuch is a fourth-generation Coloradan.

Let us state the obvious: where your great-grandparents lived is not a qualification for a judgeship, or any other job.  Yet Pence really, really, really wants us to know that, more than any actual qualification Gorsuch might have.

We must become kremlinologists to try to understand why the administration makes so much of that idea.

Recall that  Pence was governor of Indiana and that Trump began his sustained assault on the integrity and independence of the federal judiciary by attacking a judge who was a first generation native of Indiana. Often, a governor would defend the reputation of a distinguished judge who is a native of his state, but Pence declined to do so.

What message was Pence signaling to rightwingers by singling out Gorsuch's ancestry? Obviously, he was telling  his base that Gorsuch is white and Protestant.

Gorsuch cannot help that, but he didn't have to throw away his reputation. Untested for most of a lifetime, circumstances finally revealed him as a man of low character.



19 comments:

  1. And I thought you had reached peak vile.

    How wrong I was.

    Enquiring minds want to know: since Art II Sect II of the Constitution is so easy to find and quote, why didn't you?

    Because you hate facts, and you are a retired journalist. But I repeat myself. Doing your work for you, here it is:

    He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate ... shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court ...

    The Senate refused to consent. Where is the conspiracy against the Constitution? I mean, it isn't as if the Senate was refusing to enforce laws, call taxes penalties until they needed to be taxes, weaponizing the IRS, or using Title IX to make a mockery of due process.

    About none of which you have ever said anything.

    More peculiar though, is that communists such as yourself have long hoped to relegate the Constitution to the dustbin of history. Yet when you found yourselves doing so much losing, you suddenly found a new respect for the Constitution and federalism.

    Merritt Garland is perfectly happy with a large administrative state, a strong executive, and couldn't be fussed about federalism.

    He is exactly the kind of judge you don't want; Gorsuch is, particularly if the president is Trump.

    I shouldn't be surprised. After all, if progressives were as smart as progressives insist they are, they wouldn't be progressives.

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  2. When Vice President Pence was asked, he said -- three times in less than 90 seconds -- that Gorsuch is a fourth-generation Coloradan.

    No link, no transcript. Typically shoddy Ranting the Odious.

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  3. The Senate did not deliberate on the nomination.

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  4. Harry, maybe there are some secret words in Art II you haven't let us in on?

    I've re-read it several times. I just can't find "deliberate" anywhere.

    What I can find is "consent". The majority of the Senate did not consent.

    No link, no transcript. Typically shoddy Ranting the Odious.

    Still no link, no transcript.

    Why?

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  5. 'The majority of the Senate did not consent.' True.

    But how do you know what the majority of the Senate thought about Judge Garland? Feel free to point us to the Congressional Record, since you're such a fan of links.

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  6. Feel free to point us to the Congressional Record, since you're such a fan of links.

    You first, Harry. You seem to think the Constitution requires some notation in the Congressional Record.

    I can't find it. Surely, you can.

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  7. Wow. I must have been wrong. I apologize.

    You can't find it.

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  8. Poor, overworked, crickets.

    They need a union. Or something.

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  9. No, but action of the Senate is recorded in the Record. But you are the one on the spot. You said the senators did something. How do you know?

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  10. Harry, I would have thought it bloody obvious, but you apparently don't read the papers.

    The GOP, holding a majority of the seats in the senate, publicly stated they did not consent to Obama's nominee.

    It's almost as if elections matter.

    Still waiting for you to come up with some coherent explanation of how this is a conspiracy against Art II Sect 2.

    I'm betting that wait is going to stretch into infinity. Kind of rubbishes your supposed point, doesn't it?

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  11. The corrupt bargain was to refuse to advise.

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  12. Harry, you don't read the papers.

    They advised, too: no.

    You may not like their advice, or failure to consent, but your frowny face does not arise to the level of a constitutional issue.

    Look it up.

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  13. How could they advise without hearings on the nominee?

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  14. Which part of "no" doesn't constitute advising?

    In order for this to be a constitutional issue, it has to run afoul of the constitution. It doesn't.

    If only you were this solicitous about the Second Amendment.

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  15. Well, if you think that, 'We advise you to appoint judges based solely on their political malleabilty' fulfills the intention of the Framers, then you have won the argument

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  16. Well, if you think that, 'We advise you to appoint judges based solely on their political malleabilty' ...

    1. Do not attribute to me something which I haven't said -- I can't count the number of times I've asked you to knock that merde off. Is the concept just too hard for you?

    2. You don't know what "malleability" means.

    3. I won the argument because I don't read my fever dreams into the Constitution.

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  17. You need to stop with the English lessons. You don't know what you're talking about

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  18. Harry, when it comes to the Constitution, you are impenetrably ignorant.

    E.g.:Well, if you think that, 'We advise you to appoint judges based solely on their political malleability' fulfills the intention of the Framers, then you have won the argument

    Nowhere does the Constitution mention judicial political malleability, one way or the other.

    And what is it with the quote marks? You give the impression of not knowing how to use them.

    Or how, even within the realm of fever dreams, this is a constitutional issue.

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